It’s a fact: People today are living longer. Although that’s good news, the odds of requiring some sort of long-term care increases as you get older. According to the American Association of Home and Services for the Aging, approximately 70% of people will need some form of long-term care after age 65. And as the costs of home care, nursing homes, and assisted living escalate, you probably wonder how you are going to be able to afford long-term care.
Most people associate long-term care with the elderly. But it applies to the ongoing care of individuals of all ages who require assistance completing certain daily tasks—such as bathing, dressing, or eating. This could be due to an illness, injury, or cognitive disorder and the care can be provided in a number of settings, including private homes, assisted-living facilities, adult day-care centers, hospices, and nursing homes.
The best time to plan for long-term care is long before you need it. That way, you are more likely to have choices about how and where you receive care. In planning for long-term care, you can map out your course for the future. This means knowing the costs of long-term care and learning about the ways to cover them, and creating legal instructions that will help keep you in charge of decisions about your care and finances.
Even though you may never need long-term care, you will want to be prepared in case you ever do, because long-term care is often very expensive. One of the biggest myths when it comes to long-term care is that Medicare will pay. The reality is that Medicare covers few, if any, long-term care expenses and pays nothing if you only need personal care like help in bathing or getting dressed. Although Medicaid does cover some of the costs of long-term care, it has strict financial eligility requirements—you would have to exhaust a large portion of your life savings to become eligible for it. Therefore, you are going to need to find alternative ways to pay for long-term care.
A 2016 market study conducted by Genworth Financial found the average costs for long-term care in Florida:
- $275 per day for a private room in a nursing home
- $244 per day for a semi-private room in a nursing home
- $100 per day for care in an assisted living facility (one-bedroom unit)
- $45 per day for care in an adult day health care center
- $124 per day for a home health aide
- $116 per day for homemaker services
There is no one right answer when it comes to deciding how to pay for long-term care. The best option for a particular individual will take into account income and assets, current health, and family medical history. When it comes to your home, your health, and your finances, you want to be in the driver’s seat. That’s why it is so important to plan for retirement – and any future care you may need. Planning for long-term care is one of the smartest decisions you can make, and it’s a gift for your family too.
Given the range of strategies for financing long-term care, many people find it helpful to consult a financial professional. Danielle Gates, Certified Financial Planner® can help you create the best plan to suit your needs. Call our office at 239-424-8305 to request our free resource guide for long-term care planning and schedule a complimentary consultation with Danielle Gates.
For more information about D. Gates Wealth Management, please visit our website at DGatesWealthManagement.com, or call our office at 239.424.8305.